Open letter to Julius Assange about WikiLeaks:
I have not the foggiest idea how to get a message to you, so this is no doubt an exercise in futility, but I do intend to post it on my web log as it will include material that may be of general interest.  I shall assume that some reader will have the audacity and know-how to get it to you, but I much doubt it.  I also assume that your name on the entry will flag my site and that anyone following up will conclude that a pathetic loner like me is no threat to an insect.  In fact I do not have any privileged information at all.

But I do have obscure information that is extremely important, and getting it to the public would be a great service. 

The issue is this.  Fertility around the world is dropping like a rock.  Common wisdom is that this is because people are making prudent choices and that when the world’s population is something the environment can support then the birth rate will stabilize.  Such wisdom is in defiance of known science.  The reason fertility is falling is that people no longer marry cousins.  It has been shown in animals (On the Regulation of Populations of Mammals, Birds, Fish, and Insects, Richard M. Sibly et al. SCIENCE vol. 309 no. 5734  JULY 22, 2005 page 607 – 61) and in people (An Association between Kinship and Fertility of Human Couples Agnar Helgason et al. SCIENCE vol. 329 no. 5864 February 8, 2008 page 813 – 816 and Comment on “An Association between Kinship and Fertility of Human Couples,” Rodrigo Labouriau et al. SCIENCE vol. 322 no. 5908 12 December 2008 page 1634 – 1635) that kinship determines fertility and that environmental factors and choice play no part that is statistically visible.

If you are not shocked, you do not understand.  In that case you may reread the last sentence.  Or maybe you simply think I am lying, in which case you may look up the references. 

So the world’s fertility is not going to stop falling until either it zeroes out or we start marrying cousins again (not necessarily first cousins of course).  Obviously there is a point of no return when there just aren’t enough cousins.  First cousins are already rare in many countries.

Countries know they have a problem, but efforts to fix it ignore the basic cause so all their efforts are doomed.  I doubt they know the cure and are deliberately suppressing the knowledge. 

On the other hand there might well be some sort of communication between countries in which they wring their hands.  That might stir up enough interest so that the cure gets known.  After all, if I know then other people know. 

It is a faint hope but easy enough to check out.  Just search through what you have for “fertility” or “birth rate” and see if there is any relevant traffic.  Calling attention to it would not break the law and it might win you a lot more friends, not to mention saving the world, which seems to be the kind of project you like.


M. Linton Herbert

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